Descent of Man (Contemporary American fiction)

by T. C. Boyle

Paperback, 1987




Penguin Books (1987), Edition: Third Printing, 219 pages


In seventeen slices of life that defy the expected and launch us into the absurd, T.C. Boyle offers his unique view of the world. A primate-center researcher becomes romantically involved with a chimp; a Norse poet overcomes bard-block; collectors compete to snare the ancient Aztec beer can, Quetzacoatl Lite; and Lassie abandons Timmy for a randy coyote. Dark humor, delirious fantasy, and surreal satire come together in this collection that brilliantly expresses just what the "evolution" of mankind has wrought.

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LibraryThing member booklove2
T.C. Boyle's two collections of the collections of his stories (Volumes 1 & 2) might be desert island books for me! Somehow Stories One was missing two stories from Descent of Man, so I had to get this book separately to read those two (Earth,Moon and Quetzalcoatl Lite). I think all other stories from Boyle are collected in either volume one or two. I love to read a couple of Boyle's stories whenever I have a Boyle craving! But I could also read his entire oeuvre all in a row and then start reading from the beginning again. Boyle is a powerhouse of stories and I think he should be read by all readers. He is one of the smartest writers. He's one of the only writers who consistently uses words I've never seen. It doesn't hurt that I'm a fan of many of his influences. There is not a bad story in this bunch. If a story isn't perfect overall, on a sentence level it is a joy to read anyway. The stories are full, rich, detailed and cover a wide range of cultures, times and places. I especially loved The Big Garage, The Champ, Green Hell, Descent of Man, John Barleycorn Lives, De Rerum Natura, Quetzalcoatl Lite, We Are Norsemen and The Second Swimming. I've heard that even while touring for his new book release, he MUST be writing. It is essential for him to survive as a person. I can't see his writing being bad from that fact alone. He loves writing and I love reading his writing. The early stories are phenomenal here. If his writing gets better from this collection as his writing career progresses (and I'm not sure how it could), I'm in for some amazing writing. I'm a Boyle fan for life.… (more)


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